Late last week Allegorithmic introduced the Substance Designer Summer Release, bringing with it several new user-requested features and a tool that will change Substance Designer forever. While artists will immediately note a revamped interface, the changes go far beyond aesthetics. Floating windows, additional nodes and performance enhancements increase the tool’s functionality today, while a new scripting API will soon grant users the ability to reshape Substance Designer to fit their unique needs.
The new API, based on Python (version 3.6.5) is the first step toward granting users the ability to control every aspect of Substance Designer through scripting. Today, users can access, save and export runtime data from the graph, introducing the ability for individual users or fully staffed studios to build their own customized quality checks. Users can also create their own plugins using the scripting tool, or modify existing plugins to meet individual needs.
Future updates will expand the API to include direct customization to a Substance Designer graph, as well as the introduction of full automation.
The Summer Release also features a redesigned UI containing the ability to organize and align nodes vertically, horizontally or snap them to the grid. Additional nodes allow for the conversion of 2D shapes to 3D using the Shape Extrude ability, while the Shape Splatter node creates new opportunities for spreading a pattern throughout a map.
Additional new features include:
- Normal Map Intensity – Users can now control the intensity of a normal map
- Normal Map Transform – Scale, rotate and offset a normal map while vector values are adjusted automatically
- Quad Transform – Manipulate four control points on the corner to transform an image
- Trapezoid Transform – A new way to distort an input
- New Gradient Tools – Controls points add new options
- Improved Flood Fill – An updated version of the recent Flood Fill tool allows it to work with any shape, and can handle holes in patterns
“Today, we begin to turn our users' ideas for a more open Substance Designer into a reality,” said Sebastien Deguy, President and founder at Allegorithmic. “As the API evolves, they’ll be able to tailor Substance Designer to their unique needs, expanding the possibilities of what they create and how they do it.”
Along with the new features, the Summer Release includes improvements to a handful of existing features, starting with enhancements to the Material Transform node used to process the normal map more accurately. The release also introduces an experimental in-context edition of the subgraph, where image and parameter inputs set on node instances are automatically injected into the subgraph when the user opens the reference. The update introduces faster auto-levels, as well as a significant improvement to bakers, which are up to five-times faster than before.
To celebrate the Summer Release, Allegorithmic’s Integrations Product Manager, Wes McDermott, will host a livestream discussing the history of Substance Designer and the people behind it. The stream will be hosted on Allegorithmic’s YouTube page at 11 a.m. PST on July 26.
The new update to Substance Designer is available today at no cost to current subscribers. Following the trial period, individual users will be able to subscribe to the Indie or Pro plans. Subscriptions to Substance Indie cost $19.90/month; Pro plans cost $99.90/month. Substance Designer is also available for individual-license purchase, which includes 12 months of maintenance. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.